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Isn’t it comforting that Dick Durbin is watching out for Americans’ impressionable minds? He recently told The Hill, “It’s time to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine…I have this old-fashioned attitude that when Americans hear both sides of the story, they’re in a better position to make a decision.”

Durbin’s attitude is old-fashioned alright, in two ways. It betrays an old-fashioned paternalistic distrust of the public being easily manipulated by the media. And it’s also old-fashioned in its willful ignorance of new media. Remember that when the Federal Communications Commission dropped the Fairness Doctrine in the 1980s, cable TV was young and the Web did not exist.

This idiocy would be surprising from anyone other than a politician. What other class of people would attempt to create a scarcity of information in order to then “manage” it? Apparently the same people who believe that media debate hasn’t evolved from the format that Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin parodied on “Saturday Night Live” — in the 1970s.

Jane Curtin: Dan, only a reactionary ass such as yourself could oppose full diplomatic relations with China. As President Carter said, it is a simple recognition of reality. How can we ignore eight hundred million people? But, then again, I guess it’s your habit to ignore reality. You’re a paranoid schizophrenic, Dan, whose politics are obviously born out of some buried infantile trauma. You hide from reality, constructing a hostile world to justify your own incapacity for love and compassion. Go ahead, Dan, live in your dark, lonely world. The rest of us will extend our hands in friendship to eight hundred million human beings, saying, “Hi! You do exist. Let’s be friends.”

Dan Aykroyd: Jane, you ignorant slut. My personality profile is not at issue here, any more than is your inability to achieve orgasm. The issue is Taiwan. How can we expect to have the confidence of any free nation when we stab one of our most faithful allies in the back. I suppose you’d like to conduct our foreign policy the way you conduct your private life, hopping from bed to bed with anyone that can do you some good. Then what do you have? An old, dried-out scuzz that no decent man would be seen with. Is that what you want for America? It’s too late for you, Jane, but our country still has some dignity left, you hosebag!